Air Transport Communications Company Settles Allegations of Terrorist Sanctions Violations
27 Feb 2020

An air transport communications company has agreed to pay $7.8 million to settle allegations it did business with airlines that the U.S. had placed on a terrorist blacklist.

Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques SCRL, a private Swiss company, provided commercial services and software to airlines based in Iran, Syria and Iraq that were designated terrorist organizations by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control between 2011 and 2015, the agency said Wednesday.

SITA in a statement said compliance was a priority for the company and that it would continue to invest in compliance personnel and systems, employee training and risk-based measures. “Today, we can proudly say that SITA has an industry-leading and robust trade sanctions compliance program in place, which is fully implemented across our entire company,” SITA said.

Between 2013 and 2018, Geneva-based SITA provided its communications services and software to Iran’s Mahan Air, Caspian Air and Meraj Air, as well as to Syrian Arab Airlines and the now-defunct Al-Naser Airlines, which was based in Iraq, according to the settlement.

Mahan Air, Caspian Air, Meraj Air and Syrian Arab Airlines didn’t return requests for comment. The airlines were designated global terrorists under the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations.

The services provided by SITA included an industry messaging service and software that allow users to manage certain commercial airline processes and track baggage. The penalty on the company was the result of a mix of aggravating and mitigating factors, the Treasury said in its settlement Wednesday.

By Dylan Tokar, The Wall Street Journal, 26 February 2020

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